Arunkumar R. Mehta, a pioneer diamantaire, a leader and founding father of the diamond industry of India, and a leading player of the international diamond industry and proprietor of Rosy Blue, one of the world’s largest diamond traders and a prominent De Beers Sight holder, sadly passed away on Sunday, June 14, 2020, at the age of 80, after a brief illness at a private hospital in, Mumbai, India, where he was under treatment.
As a mark of respect to the doyen of the diamond industry, all trading and manufacturing activities in Surat and Mumbai was totally shut down on Tuesday, June 16th 2020. Anoop Mehta, president of India’s largest diamond trading hub, the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) stated that the BDB and the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) and all other constituents of the industry were shut down on June 16th as a mark of respect to the Late Arunbhai.
From humble beginnings in a small town in Gugarat by the name of Palanpur, where he was born in 1940, Arunbhai Mehta moved to Mumbai in 1960 at the age of 20 years. He recalled buying his first diamond in Mumbai for Rs 25 and selling it for Rs 27. Subsequently, he set up a small diamond cutting and polishing unit in 1960, under the name of B. Arunkumar & Company. With his extraordinary skills in entrepreneurship, his business acumen and forward vision, seizing all opportunities available, and above all giving top priority to unquestionable integrity and business ethics, Arunbhai Mehta was able to build up a business empire that became the family-owned Belgian-Indian conglomerate known as Rosy Blue, the biggest diamond manufacturing unit in the world, with thousands of employees, and operations in several countries, such as India, Belgium, Israel, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and China.
Arunkumar R. Mehta was associated with the diamond industry and trade of India for more than 60 years, and during this period helped in the founding of several organizations associated with the industry, such as, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC), in which he served as an active member of the management committee; the Diamond Exporters Association Ltd., and the Bharat Diamond Bourse, in which he served in the capacity of an active member of its management committee. His invaluable advice was always sought in the smooth running of these trade associations.
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India, paying a tribute to the late Arunbhai, said, “the history of the Indian diamond industry would have been different without Arunbhai’s key contributions. In the late 1970s he was one of the pioneers of the industry’s modernization and rapid growth phase, allowing him to not just grow the company he founded – Rosy Blue – but also the industry as a whole.”
Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, issuing a statement on Arunbhai’s sad demise, said, India’s phenomenal success as the world’s primary source of polished diamonds can be attributed to the leadership of a few key individuals who worked together for the common good. Chief among those that put India’s diamond industry on the map was Arunkumar R. Mehta
“Transcending his personal business interests, he devoted significant time and energy for the betterment of the diamond community. He recognized the social needs of the less fortunate and helped create an industry that provides a livelihood for hundreds of thousands in the diamond trade. May his memory be a blessing for all those he helped.”
Ashish K Mehta, owner of the company Kantilal Chhotalal, a Debeers Sightholder, said, “He was always willing to help and if you went to him with a problem , he’d break it down thoroughly and offer a solution, a rare trait, possessed only by few individuals”